20 Misconceptions About Cats That Aren’t True

Written By Jill Taylor

Cats are often misunderstood, especially in comparison to overly playful and loveable pups. While cats are often aloof, there are many myths surrounding how they think, act, and most importantly, how they dote on their owners. Here are 20 common misconceptions about cats.

They’re Far Too Independent

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There’s no doubt cats are very independent, but that doesn’t mean that they prefer to be away from their owners. Cats have a variety of personalities; some will be extremely sociable, while others will need space. Cats are more subtle at showing affection, but they definitely still feel it!

Black Cats are Bad Luck

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Black cats have forever been associated with bad luck and Halloween. According to History.com, it was actually the Catholic Church that first linked black cats to the devil in the 13th Century. Superstition gives black cats a bad wrap, but they’re just as loveable as all the rest!

Cats Always Land on Their Feet

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Cats are of course graceful and alarmingly bendy creatures, but that doesn’t mean they’re always guaranteed to land on their feet. Cats get injuries from falls just like any other pet, which means it’s just as important to keep an eye on them.

They Don’t Like Water

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Any cat owner who has successfully given their kitty a relaxing bath will tell you this isn’t necessarily true. Some cats may dislike water, but there are particular breeds that love it, including the Turkish Van, which loves to swim.

Cats Have Nine Lives

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Another common myth about cats is that they have nine lives. Following on from the idea that cats always land on their feet, it’s no surprise many people think cats are graceful enough to escape many dangerous situations. Yet the myth is just that…a myth.

Cats are Nocturnal Animals

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Perhaps thanks to the myths of black cats and superstitions, some people also believe that cats mainly prefer being awake at night to prowl. It’s true that cats have natural predatory behavior which could better suit night-time hunting, but most cats are active during the day.

Cats Love Milk

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Look at any Disney movie with cats and you’ll see them enjoying a well-placed bowl of milk. The reality is very different! Milk isn’t actually ideal for most adult cats, as some can be lactose intolerant. Kittens will drink their mother’s milk, but adult cats need water.

If a Cat Purrs, It’s Happy

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Purring can mean many different things, not only contentment. Cats purr to express different emotions, ranging from bad to good. Forbes explains that purring can also indicate hunger or stress. Interpreting body language while a cat purrs is key.

Cats Don’t Need Regular Veterinary Care

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Compared to other pets, it may seem like cats don’t need regular veterinary checkups due to their strong nature and smaller size. Yet cats need just as much veterinary care as any other pet. Regular checkups mean preventative care and a better chance of catching illnesses early for the best possible outcome.

Cats Don’t Mind Being Indoors All the Time

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Some cats may be completely indoor cats, but it depends on the breed and its circumstances. Most cats will not be happy being always indoors and will need access to secure yards or even to go on leashed walks if they can’t be safely let free to roam alone.

Cats Don’t Show Affection

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Cats are often misunderstood regarding affection, appearing less loving than a doting dog. But cats show high amounts of love and affection for their owners. Rolling on their back and butting their head against you are just some of the ways a cat shows its love, according to The Spruce Pets.

You Can’t Train a Cat

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Dogs definitely take the medal for trainable pets, yet cats can be trained too. Cat training includes using a litter tray, performing tricks, and obedience training. Positive reinforcement training works just as well on cats as it does on dogs. And training can be a great way to bond.

Cats Hate Dogs

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Cats versus dogs, the ultimate showdown since the beginning of time. Yet the idea that all cats and dogs hate each other is simply not true. Many cats and dogs live together happily in homes, and the success of that depends on the individual animal and its needs.

Wildlife Will Be Safe From Cats if They Roam

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Cat owners might think that their own pets wouldn’t dream of harming any local wildlife during their adventures. Yet cats are natural predators, with an urge to prey on animals outside, particularly birds. Trying strategies to avoid hunting behavior in cats is important for an owner.

Cats Are Low Maintenance Pets

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Due to the fact that you don’t have to walk a cat every day, many people believe they’re the low-maintenance alternative to dogs. But that’s not the case. They need a long-term commitment to feeding, healthcare, grooming, and regular exercise. They also need plenty of stimulation.

Routines Are Impossible Because They’re Too Stubborn

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Due to a cat’s reputation for being stubborn or even haughty, many people believe you could never hope to get a cat into a good routine because it simply wouldn’t listen. But cats are highly intelligent and have the capacity to learn routines and practical daily behaviors.

They Can See in Complete Darkness

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It’s a common misconception that cats have complete night vision. While cats can see extremely well in low levels of light, they still can’t see anything in complete darkness! USA Today explains that cats can see up to six times better in darkness than humans though.

Pregnant Women Can’t Live With Cats

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The fear of toxoplasmosis, an infection you can catch from cats, is real, especially in pregnant women. Some believe that you have to rehome your cat if you’re planning on having a baby. In reality, all it takes is practical planning to safely handle your cat and their litter box when you’re expecting.

Cats Will Always Prefer Solitude

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While cats might enjoy a little peace and quiet sometimes, they’re not solitary animals. In fact, having multiple cats in the house can make for a happy environment. Feral cats also have a social instinct to move in packs, so the idea that they always prefer to be alone is a myth.

Cats Can Happily Eat a Vegan Diet

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Many vegan pet owners look to trial their pets on vegan diets as well. But the reality is, this isn’t healthy. Cats are natural carnivores, so they aren’t going to do too well on a vegan diet. Neglecting nutritional needs can lead to health problems, so always follow your vet’s advice.